Be an Antiques Dealer
By Eric Hammer
Flickr Photo by Bart
If you love history and antiques, one of the best jobs you
can possibly take would be to become an antiques dealer. After
all, this means that you can actually hold the antiques in your
hands and experience history first hand while at the same time
earning a living. You can also pick and choose the best antiques
for your own personal collection if you happen to enjoy collecting
them in addition to being an antiques dealer.
Of course, the job isn't for everyone - you need to be comfortable
with handling different antiques and knowing exactly what each
of them is worth. It is also important to have an eye for detail
so that you know whether or not a particular product happens
to be genuine or not. This becomes especially important when
dealing with antiquities because there is such a tremendous trade
in fakes in that particular business.
How Much Can You Make?
Antiques dealers make a wide variety of incomes, ranging from
around $30,000 per year to as much as $100,000 per year. It depends
largely on the quality of your knowledge and where you happen
to be working.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Remember that as an antiques dealer you are primarily a salesman.
This means that your job is to make sure that the products that
you have for sale actually do get sold. You have to be able to
articulate a story behind each and every piece that you have
for sale. Remember that antiques are not valuable just because
they're antiques. They're valuable because there is history behind
them and people love stories, especially when the stories can
be proven. This means for example that you are more likely to
make a sale as an antiques dealer if you can prove that a Louis
XIV chair was in fact owned by Louis XIV rather than simply being
from that time period.
Keep in mind as well that antiques dealers tend to break down
into two distinct groups. There are antiques dealers who work
primarily with actual antiques (i.e. from the past few hundred
years) and then there are antiquities dealers who deal with items
from the ancient world. The big difference is that an antiques
dealer will be concerned with who owned a product previously
whereas an antiquities dealer will be concerned with where the
object was found and what was found alongside it.
You'll also have to be aware of local laws regarding antiquities
as some objects cannot be sold legally without the proper export
licenses attached to them. That's because there is a tremendous
trade in stolen antiquities from all over the world which has
become the bane of legitimate antiques dealers in the Western
Qualifications / Requirements
In most states, there are no formal licensing requirements
to become an antiques dealer, however you will need to be quite
knowledgeable about your area of expertise. This also means knowing
what you don't know and how to find out the information about
the object that you know nothing about. Generally, it's a good
idea to have a degree in art history in order to become an antiques
It's also important to remember that on occasion you will
need a specific license, including for appraising antiques brought
to you by people and if you wish to become an auctioneer, which
many antiques dealers do.
Start by visiting antiques shows and learning as much as you
can about the particular area that you are interested in. Then,
talk to other antiques dealers. Most are passionate about their
particular subject areas and are more than willing to share their
knowledge with you.
Check out these helpful resources to learn more about becoming
an antiques dealer:
Grays Antiques: How to Become an Antiques Dealer
- An excellent resource on becoming an antiques dealer which
is offered by a company which employs more than 200 of them.
Princeton Review: Antiques Dealer - A good overall
guide to what it takes to become an antiques dealer.